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Newsline

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Tokyo 10, United States 7, U.s. 6, Spain 6, China 5, Suzuki 4, Nhk 3, Nasa 3, Kompasu 3, Obama 3, Boj 2, Lahore 2, Sony 2, Southern China 2, Shizuoka Prefecture 2, Newsline 2, New York 2, Nanjing 2, Catherine 2, Catherine Kobayashi 2,
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  PBS    Newsline  

    September 1, 2010
    7:00 - 7:30pm PDT  

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hello there. this is "newsline." welcome. it's thursday september 2nd, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. we're going to start with business news. the markets are rising following wall street's gains. ines matsuyama joins us with the details. >> that's right, catherine. good morning. wall street's rally spurred a rebound in tokyo stocks on thursday morning. investors helped push the nikkei average above the 9,000-yen level. the index ended the morning
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session at 9,035 points, up 1.2%, or 108 ticks from wednesday's close. sources say the stronger than expected data on u.s. manufacturers' business sentiment drove new york stocks up. that surge prompted investors in tokyo to go on a buying spree. checking currencies, the dollar's hovering around a narrow range against the yen on thursday morning. it's currently at 84.33-35. while the euro's at 107.92-97. before the dollar started its slide, it gained against the yen, thanks to better than forecast u.s. manufacturing data. here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other markets, hong kong's hang seng opened 1.2% higher. it's currently up 1.3%. the shanghai index for major blue chips is up 0.7%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.6%. the bank of japan will offer
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low-interest loans for a year to financial institutions starting next week. it's part of a new scheme to boost the economy. the central bank will provide loans with an annual interest rate of .1%. 47 private banks will borrow a total of about $5.5 billion. the fund will finance 1,342 projects. the boj says $1.3 billion will be loaned to environment and energy companies. regional businesses will get $1.1 billion. $657 million will be spent on construction and another $650 million for medical and nursing care services. the central bank plans to provide $35.5 billion in bank loans by june 2012 to spur economic growth. japan's suzuki motor is feeling the pinch from the surging yen. the car maker has dropped plans to build a domestic industrial
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park with parts suppliers. suzuki began assembling vehicles for europe and other markets at its plant in shizuoka prefecture, central japan, in 2008. since the company wanted to bring its part suppliers closer to its production center, it planned to build a complete industrial park by 2014. but sluggish european sales and a strong yen that dampened export growth put a stop to suzuki's plans. chairman usama suzuki expressed great concern about the exchange rate, saying the yen has soared to unexpected levels. in the past four months the value of the japanese currency has soared over 9% to reach a 50-year high. since the end of last month its price had been fluctuating dramatically. the continuing appreciation of the yen is affecting many industries in japan, but not all of them are hurting. nhk world's nahoko yamada has more. >> reporter: manufacturers that depend on exports have been hit hardest by the stronger yen.
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this auto parts maker gets paid in dollars for the products it ships to the united states. the company had forecast an rate of 100 yen a dollar. the president says he's now resigned to suffering losses. >> translator: whatever happens, we're going to lose. whether it's in dollars or euros. >> reporter: tourism is another sector feeling the pinch. visitors from the united states in particular are limiting spending on food and sightseeing. >> i came because i found a really cheap flight. but as a result i'm definitely trying not to spend as much money. i'm staying in cheaper hotels and eating at cheaper restaurants. >> today we thought about going to disneyland, but instead we're coming here because this is free. so the kids get to see something that's japanese and yet still doesn't cost a lot of money. >> reporter: souvenir shops and other businesses that depend on tourists have noticed a slowdown
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in customer numbers and sales. >> translator: the number of foreign tourists is falling. >> translator: average spending by tourists has gone down to 4,000 yen from about 6,000. >> reporter: importers, however, are benefiting from the stronger yen. retailers have reported an uptick in sales of luxury brand goods. i'm in a watch shop, where many pieces are imported. some items like this one here, a high-end rolex, are about 10% cheaper compared to a year ago due to the recent strong yen. the shop manager says business has been up 20% in the past week. >> translator: because it's cheaper now, i feel like buying a watch. >> reporter: banks are also capitalizing on the currency turmoil. there's been a rush of customers opening foreign currency
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accounts who hope to profit when the yen's value changes direction. new account openings at this bank have doubled. >> translator: many people are interested. we hope to serve them to the best of our ability. >> reporter: with more volatility expected in the foreign exchange market, japanese businesses will continue to feel the impact of the stronger yen. th nahoko yamada, nhk world. >> we go back to the main news with catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. well, the number of people who have died of apparent heatstroke in japan since mid july has jumped to at least 475 following new revelations of heat-related deaths. nhk has learned that among those deaths 130 people in tokyo died of heat-triggered illnesses between july 17th and august 31st, followed by 82 in osaka and 55 in saitama.
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previous death tallies by most prefectural governments covered only those who died in ambulances or hospitals. earlier this summer prefectural governments and police revealed cases in which autopsies of people found dead in their homes pointed to heatstroke. as a result the total number of heat-related deaths in japan jumped by more than 70. the head of the tokyo medical examiner's office says many of those found dead were elderly people living alone, who tend to be found after they die. >> translator: medical experts should analyze the data taken from those who died of heat-related illnesses and work out ways to prevent them and promote overall health. >> meanwhile, japanese meteorologists say this summer, june through august, was the hottest since recordkeeping started 113 years ago.
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the meteorological agency said on wednesday that the average temperature for the period was 1.64 degrees celsius higher than the benchmark temperature. that's the highest for the three-month period since recordkeeping began in 1898. the average temperature was calculated based on data collected from 17 observation points in the country that are relatively unaffected by the heat island effect that hits highly urbanized areas. the average temperature for june was 1.24 degrees higher than the benchmark. for july 1.42 degrees higher. and for august 2.25 degrees. the agency attributes this summer's record heat wave to westerly winds which blew more northward than usual and caused high pressure systems to remain over japan. global warming is cited as another factor.
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typhoon kompasu has made landfall in the korean peninsula. meanwhile, a tropical storm is also approaching southern china. we now go to saki ochi from the weather desk for an update. saki? >> yes. that's right. in fact, both have actually made landfall now. and kompasu has since making landfall been downgraded a little bit, weakened slightly. now at tropical storm status, reaching winds of 83 kilometers per hour. gusts slightly stronger than that. it's still maintaining that fast speed. so it's quickly going to cross over central sections of the peninsula and then head into the sea of japan, crossing over northern portions of japan later on this weekend. by then hopefully it will have weakened just a little bit more and down into a low pressure system. meanwhile, tropical storm lionrock has also crossed into the southern china coastline. this one not quite as strong as
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kompasu, but it's been moving slowly. so here rainfall amounts have really been accumulating, and it will continue to rain pretty heavily here. both systems, of course, producing plenty of stormy weather today. so we continue to keep a close eye on both. and back with the weather later on. >> thanks very much, saki. now, in other news the two-week race for leadership of japan's democratic party kicked off wednesday between prime minister naoto kan and challenger ichiro ozawa. supporters from both sides met separately to launch their campaigns, each drawing about 120 lawmakers from the party. both sides are expected to seek out the votes of about 170 other legislators who did not appear at either meeting. competition also begins for the support of rank-and-file party members and supporters who make up a quarter of the voters in the september 14th leadership election. prime minister kan and ozawa, a former party secretary-general, spoke at a joint news conference
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after registering their candidacy on wednesday. ozawa said that if elected he'll challenge japan's bureaucrats and fulfill the policy pledges made by the democratic party in last year's lower house election. >> kan said he wants to make the party cleaner and more open. >> ozawa has been criticized for what critics see as a dictatorial style. opinion polls show that many think he has failed to fully account for his role in a political funds scandal. the leaders of japan and spain have agreed that japan and the european union should begin negotiations to conclude an
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economic partnership agreement. japan's prime minister met his spanish counterpart jose luis rodriguez zapatero in tokyo on wednesday. zapatero said the agreement would be indispensable for the economic development of japan and the eu nations. kan agreed and stressed the importance of an early start to talks. the united states has switched commanders in iraq as it shifts to a noncombat role in the country. ♪ general lloyd austin took over from general ray odierno during a handover ceremony in baghdad on wednesday. u.s. vice president joe biden,
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defense secretary robert gates, and joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen presided over the ceremony. combat operations in iraq ended on tuesday. but about 50,000 u.s. troops will remain in the country until the end of next year, mainly to train and advise iraqi security forces. >> the u.s. mission will continue to transition to an increasing focus on civilian-led efforts. >> reporter: 60,000 iraqi troops and police will take over responsibility for maintaining security. in washington u.s. president barack obama has met israeli and palestinian leaders on the eve of direct peace talks. during a meeting on wednesday with israeli prime minister binyamin netanyahu, obama condemned tuesday's hamas killing of four jewish settlers in hebron. >> the united states is going to be unwavering in its support of
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israel's security, and we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist activities. >> obama said he would not allow extremists to derail the peace process through violence. in a separate talk with palestinian president mahmoud abbas, obama praised him for quickly condemning the incident. israel and the palestinian authority will resume direct talks on thursday, for the first time in 20 months. obama wants an agreement within 12 months. differences over the construction of jewish settlements and other issues are likely to weigh heavily on the upcoming negotiations. three successive bombs have blasted a shia muslim procession in eastern pakistan, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 150. the explosions occurred in lahore wednesday night as thousands of minority shias were
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marching through the city in memory of their historic leader. security authorities say they suspect that suicide bombers in the crowd were to blame. sunni extremists are believed responsible for killing more than 80 people in attacks at two mosques in lahore in may. the target of the attacks was the ahmadi community, a minority group originating in india. a team of experts from the u.s. space agency nasa has advised chilean officials to be honest with the 33 miners trapped deep in a mine about how long it's likely to take to get them out. the four-member team met chile's health minister and other officials in the country's capital of santiago on tuesday. speaking to reporters after the meeting, the nasa experts expressed concern over the miners' weight loss. they said priorities include increasing the miners' caloric intake, getting them on a regular sleep schedule and ensuring that they remain optimistic.
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at the request of the chilean government nasa dispatched the team to share knowledge gleaned from prolonged stays in confined areas by astronauts on space missions. chilean workers on monday began drilling a shaft to rescue the trapped miners and reportedly managed to excavate eight meters, about 1% of the target depth, in a little less than 24 hours. at the end of world war ii, the now defunct japanese imperial army abandoned a large number of chemical weapons in china. a plant to dispose of them has been completed in the city of nanjing. an opening ceremony on wednesday was attended by representatives from the two governments. hideo hiraoka, senior vice mrns of japan's cabinet office, heralded the opening as a new face in the disposal of abandoned chemical weapons in china. he said that the plant is now moving toward destroying the weapons after a period of excavation and survey. china's vice foreign minister
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zhang zhijun said china hopes japan will dispose of the weapons as quickly as possible. work to destroy the weapons and neutralize poisonous gas will begin by the end of september, after safety checks. japan spent 3.5 billion yen, or around $42 million, to build the facility. about 37,000 weapons are stored in nanjing. experts estimate that up to 400,000 chemical gas shells remain buried in northeastern china. april 2012 is the deadline set for disposal under the chemical weapons convention. but japan is likely to ask for an extension. former sumo grand champion wakanohana the first has died at the age of 82. he helped increase the sport's popularity during the high growth period of the 1950s. wakanohana, whose real name was
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katsuji hanada died of kidney cancer at a tokyo hospital on wednesday. wakanohana made his debut in 1946. despite having a small build, he was known for his extensive training and dynamic performances. wakanohana was promoted to the rank of yokozuna grand champion in 1958 after clinching his second tournament victory. he retired from competition in 1962 after winning ten tournament championships. he later became a stablemaster and trained two grand champions. wakanohana also served as chairman of the japan sumo association from 1988 to 1992. in japan sales of new autos rose 46% in august from a year ago. that's the largest increase for august since data collection began in 1968. it also marks the 13th straight
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month of improved sales. the japan automobile dealers association says nearly 300,000 cars were sold. sales for fuji heavy the maker of subaru cars were up 70%. honda showed a 61% rise, mazda 59%, mitsubishi 47%, and nissan 44%. the association says sales of ecofriendly vehicles rose sharply as buyers took advantage of government subsidies thaex pier at the end of september. it expects the government incentives will keep sales strong through the month, but beyond that the association says the outlook for auto sales is uncertain. japan's government has agreed to work with the government of spain to help boost the country's use of ecofriendly cars. trade and industry minister masayuki naoshima confirmed the arrangement when he met with spain's industry minister miguel sebastian in tokyo on wednesday. spain plans to increase domestic
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sales of electric cars to 250,000 units by 2014. this would be about 7% of spain's overall new car sales. spain is asking japan to help set up charging stations for electric vehicles and to build next generation power networks. such networks, known as smart grids, are vital for making large-scale use of renewable energy a reality. this would be the first time for japan to cooperate internationally in the highly competitive electric car market. the japanese government says it is prepared to help japanese automakers develop electric car-related projects. apple has unveiled the new version of apple tv. the device allows users to rent television programs and movies via the internet. apple's ceo steve jobs introduced the product in san francisco on wednesday. the tv shows can be streamed from the internet for a short period. but the content can't be bought and stored inside the device.
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apple says this limitation is due to tv networks' copyright concerns. among the tv programs offered will come from newscorp's fox network and walt disney's abc. users have to pay 99 cents for each television episode. high definition movies cost nearly $5. the service will roll out next month in the united states, with japan's release dates still to be determined. sony's walkman music players have reclaimed the top spot in monthly sales of portable media players in japan in august. walkman has taken over apple's ipod for the first time in eight years. private research firm dcn says walkman's unit sales in japan last month marked 47.8% of the overall monthly sales, followed by ipod with 44%. walkman gave up much of its foothold in japan after the original ipod model hit the market in 2001.
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bcn attributes walkman's recovery to sony's efforts to offer low-priced versions for young customers as well as those with enhanced functions. and now comes a recap of the latest market figures. ♪ ♪ >> that's all for now in biz news. next is the weather forecast with saki ochi.
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hi there. welcome back to your world weather update. now, east issues of course is bracing for a lot of stormy weather today due to our two tropical storm systems, kompasu is working quickly its way across the korean peninsula. you can see the heavy rain, it moves away at a fairly good pace. so by friday morning it should look a lot dryer. now, along eastern china the wet weather will continue for you, and we've got lionrock here in the south. and this one is a slow-moving storm system. so expect the rain to linger for another day or so. meanwhile, today temperatures are going to be still high in tokyo. 35 for your high. and today showers for shanghai with a high of 34 and 31 degrees in taipei. it will be unsettled for you as well. over toward the atlantic, meanwhile, we've been keeping an eye on hurricane earl here. and it is still a very strong storm system. category 4 major hurricane packing winds well over 215 kilometers per hour.
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a lot of warnings now are being issued along the mid-atlantic coastline. it's going to get very close to the east coast of the united states in the days to come, likely maintaining a lot of that strength. now, the bulk of the really heavy rain remains offshore, but definitely showers will affect those of you here, and there will be the storm surges and strong winds to worry about as well. do stay updated with your local watches and warnings. now, tropical storm fiona is following behind earl. it's now starting to move away from the leeward islands heading out to sea. so that at least is good news here. and then we've got our new storm system, tropical storm gaston, that did form. it's still way out in the atlantic. but it's heading in a westerly direction. so the leeward islands could be looking at another round of stormy weather again possibly in toward next week. we'll keep a close eye on all of their developments. now, across the united states tonight there is the chance of severe weather here across the central plains, parts of the midwest, and then central canada all the way down through the plain states on thursday it's
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going to look a whole lot wetter for you here, and there will be the chance of some stormier weather developing. some thundershowers are going to be possible. the northeast does stay quite warm again today. 34 degrees from new york. d.c. all the way down into atlanta. so pretty steamy weather here. it is getting a little bit cooler for toronto. 28 in here. and even 29 in chicago. things should start cooling down here in the northeast in the days to come. all right? so that is a look at your weather for now. and here is your three-day outlook. ♪
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♪ the bank of japan will offer low-interest loans for a year to financial institutions starting next week. it's part of a new scheme to boost the economy. the central bank will provide loans with an annual interest rate of .1%. 47 private banks will borrow a total of about $5.5 billion. the funds will finance 1,342 projects. the boj says $1.3 billion will be loaned to environment and energy companies. regional businesses will get $1.1 billion. $657 million will go spent on construction.
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and another $650 million for medical and nursing care services. the central bank plans to provide $35.5 billion in bank loans by june 2012 to spur economic growth. japan's suzuki motor is feeling the pinch from the surging yen. the carmaker has dropped a plan to build a domestic industrial park with parts suppliers. suzuki began assembling vehicles for europe and other markets at its plant in shizuoka prefecture, central japan, in 2008. since the company wanted to bring its parts suppliers closer to its production center, it planned to build a complete industrial park by 2014. by sluggish european sales and a strong yen that dampened export growth put a stop to suzuki's plans. chairman osamu suzuki has expressed grave concern about the exchange rate, saying the yen has soared to unexpected levels. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline."
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i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. j
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